Shahid Afridi © AFP
Shahid Afridi said that making him captain until 2016 would ensure less problems within the team © AFP

Karachi: Sep 17, 2014

Newly appointed Pakistan twenty20 skipper Shahid Afridi has hailed the decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint him as captain until the 2016 World T20 event. The outspoken and flamboyant allrounder said that making him captain until 2016 would ensure there will be no problems within the team.

“By doing this the board has sent out a clear message to the other players that who is your leader for the next two years,” Afridi said on Geo Super channel.

“It is a good decision because it will discourage an environment where they are always some players who have pretensions to the captaincy and they start becoming ambitious and create a uncomfortable environment in the dressing room,” he said candidly.

Afridi who has played 381 one-day internationals and 74 T20 matches for his country said his main job was to blend the team into a fighting unit. “And you need a cohesive environment to do this,” he said. Ironically before the PCB announced Afridi as the national T20 captain once again after he was sacked as captain in 2011 some of the players including Umar Gul, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal had no issues proclaiming they were ready for the challenge if asked to captain the side.

Afridi said a captain could only be successful if one led by example. “I can’t expect others to dive around in the field if I don’t do it myself it is as simple as that. I have to perform and motivate the others,” he added. The experienced allrounder said he had always believed in the team doing its best on the field without fear of defeat. “If you play hard and then lose even your supporters and the critics support you.”

Asked about comments by former captain and teammate, Muhammad Yousuf that Afridi should have also been made the national ODI captain and should have announced he would retire after the World Cup in 2015, Afridi said he had a lot of respect for Yousuf.

“We have played together a lot and he is a great for Pakistan. I don’t want to say anything. Everyone has a right to his own opinion so is the case with Yousuf,” he said. Afridi also made it clear he was not concerned about his form. “I know where I am going wrong and every time I go out I try to do my best for the team. You can’t be successful all the time but the intention must be there always.”

Afridi who in the past got into trouble with the authorities for his candid views said those criticized him or talked about his form in recent matches should also look at his overall career record before making any judgements. The Pakistan captain also made it clear he had no issues with Test and one-day captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. “I wish him the best and I have always given 100 percent under his captaincy. I have no issues at all with him. I have always supported him and will continue to do so. I think he has done a lot for Pakistan cricket and he needs to be given some space if he has not had one good series.”